SFNL Netball Round Reviews brought to you by Yellow Tail wines.
By Hugh Maclean
Division 1 netball came to Keysborough this week as the locals hosted Heatherton. These two sides are rated the main dangers to Dingley’s reign, and were keen to assert their position as lead challenger. And it was Heatherton that took the initiative early in the game, and increased their advantage steadily throughout the match. The Keysborough girls were tenacious and never threw in the towel, but found their opponents too tall, and with goal shooter Rahni Samason on her game the black and whites prevailed by 58-32.
Caulfield were stung by their round two defeat to Heatherton, and shot out of the blocks against St Kilda City, scoring the first six goals of the match. The Saints girls worked their way into the match, levelling at seven apiece, but that’s as close as they got. St Kilda defended well in the back third, but when the ball got into the goal circle they had no answer to Sophie O’Shea. Caulfield turned for home 14 goals to the good, and although the Saints scored six of the first seven goals of the last term the deficit was too great, the final score being 40-26 to Caulfield.
Dingley took on Bentleigh with the Bentleigh girls keen to make an impression on the premiers, and this they did early on with Dingley taking a one –point lead into the first break. Dingley were able to take control early in the second term and while Bentleigh were able to score a couple in reply mid-term, Dingley were able to steady. Alecia Wise ran the show, and with Sara Merkus covering miles in the middle of the court the experience of the Dingoes made all the difference. Bentleigh kept coming, but couldn’t make the necessary scoreboard impact, Dingley finishing victorious by 46-31.
Chelsea Heights played St Kilda City in one of the best matches of the season so far in Division 2. Chelsea Heights had a lot of the ball in the first quarter and were very patient in the build-up and deadly on the shot. They took a four point lead into the main break, but St Kilda City came into their own after half time, reversing the lead to take a one-point advantage into the final term. The Saints girls were strong in mid-court and tall at each end, and were steady to the end to win by 33-30.
Dingley took on the unbeaten St Pauls, and it took a while for the St Pauls machine to click into gear. They were behind by three goals at the first break, but hit back to level the scores at half time. Early in the third quarter it looked like St Pauls would break away, but they couldn’t make their supremacy tell on the scoreboard, and Dingley finished the quarter full of running and three goals to the good. The final term was one-way traffic and the Dingley shooters made every opportunity count with a 36-24 win the final result.
The slick Heatherton outfit have been taking all before them, and came up against a keen Mordialloc side. They have been around the mark without yet tasting victory, but Heatherton took this one away very early in the day. An eight point quarter time lead was doubled by half time, and whilst the reds fought hard Heatherton were way too good, winning 40-16.
Bentleigh took on CPL in a game that was close all day. The CPL girls came into the game unbeaten, while Bentleigh won their first game in the second round by running over the top of Mordialloc. The two sides looked evenly matched and so it proved, with neither side able to make a convincing break. In the end it was Bentleigh that were too strong to the tune of 33-28.
Division 3 sees three unbeaten teams after three rounds. St Kilda City received a forfeit from East Brighton, Heatherton just prevailed over Keysborough by 26-20, while Dingley continued on their merry way, beating Skye 52-18. Clayton had their first win over Mordialloc by 41-9, and Black Rock outlasted Caulfield to win 31-24.
Dingley continued to take all before them in Division 4 with a convincing 40-13 triumph over Springvale Districts. Caulfield join them at the top table, defeating Lyndale by 24-17. Heatherton also remain unbeaten, inflicting Keysborough’s first loss by 45-30, while South Yarra were too good for St Kilda City, winning by 30-7.
Bentleigh and St Kilda City met in a great battle to head Division Five. Neither side had tasted defeat before this week and neither side showed any desire to do so. At the end of a titanic struggle Bentleigh saluted by the smallest possible margin, 46-45. Heatherton joined them on maximum points by walloping Oakleigh District 74-7. Elsewhere Dingley beat Cheltenham 33-14, Mordialloc outlasted Clayton 27-20, while Black Rock trumped Chelsea Heights by 46-27.
Division 6 saw Lyndale continue their unbeaten start over Dingley by 27-21. Heatherton were too good for Hampton, winning 54-16. Lyndhurst kept up their impressive form with a 47-20 defeat of Caulfield. South Yarra 45 beat St Kilda City 19, while Highett prevailed by 37-23 over CPL.
Lyndhurst kept the goals flowing in Division 7; 66 of them to be precise, against South Yarra’s 16. Dandenong and Bentleigh remained unbeaten, defeating Heatherton 42-21 and Doveton Eagles 22-18 respectively. Murrumbeena opened their account this season by seeing off the challenge of Black Rock by 32-27.
Cheltenham were impressive in Division 8, accounting for Lyndhurst by 65-12. Mount Waverley were too good for a spirited Dandenong, finishing in front by 45-34, but it’s Heatherton that leads the way early on, this week defeating Keysborough by 34-9.
The under 19s saw Dingley Two continue their impressive form, having little trouble with Mordialloc One and finishing victorious 32-7. Dingley One looked similarly strong, being too good for Skye by 31-5.
The completion of round three ends the grading phase of the season. Changes may occur before the battle again heats up next week. Good luck to all competitors.